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Title: The value of fuel management in reducing wildfire damage

Author: Outcalt, Kenneth W.; Wade, Dale D.;

Date: 2000

Source: In: Neuenschwander, Leon F.; Ryan, Kevin C., tech. eds. Proceedings from the Joint Fire Science Conference and Workshop: crossing the millennium: integrating spatial technologies and ecological principles for a new age in fire management; the Grove Hotel, Boise, Idaho, June 15-17, 1999. Moscow, Idaho: University of Idaho, 2000: 271-275

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: The objective of this study was to test the effectiveness of a regular prescribed burning program to reduce mortality of southern pines when forests are burned by wildfire. The study was installed on the Osceola National Forest in where about 10,000 ha of flatwoods forest type was burned by arson set wildfires under extreme conditions in June 1998. Stands within the burned area were divided by origin as either natural or planted. Tree mortality data summerized by plot were compared using analyses of variance in an unbalanced design to test for differences in pre-fire fuel treatments, site type, location and fire type. In natural stands, mean mortality was 32 percent. Burn history significantly effected mortality with those burned 1.5 years ago having about 15% mortality and those stands prescribed bumed 2 years or more ago having tree mortality of 44 percent. Site type also significantly influenced tree mortality. On dry and moist sites 20% of the pines died, whereas the wildfire killed 54% of the trees on wet plots. Burn history had similar effects in planted stands where tree mortality was 5% in stands burned 1.5 years proviously and 52% for those that had been accumulating fuel for 2 or more years. Plantations on the interior of the burn had 41% tree mortality while those near the perimeter had only 17% tree death. Although significant tree mortality did occur on the Osceola National Forest with some stands killed totally, not all of the trees in the burned area were lost. Thus, it does appear that a regular prescribed burning program will reduce mortality following wlldfires in both natural and planted stands of southern pines on flatwoods sites even under severe drought conditions.

Keywords: Prescribed buring, wildfire, longleaf pine, slash pine, mortality

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Outcalt, Kenneth W.; Wade, Dale D. 2000. The value of fuel management in reducing wildfire damage. In: Neuenschwander, Leon F.; Ryan, Kevin C., tech. eds. Proceedings from the Joint Fire Science Conference and Workshop: crossing the millennium: integrating spatial technologies and ecological principles for a new age in fire management; the Grove Hotel, Boise, Idaho, June 15-17, 1999. Moscow, Idaho: University of Idaho, 2000: 271-275

 


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